The North Carolina Plein Air Painters is a social network to promote plein air painting in the state of North Carolina and to serve the many organized groups that paint plein air within our state. We are here to inspire and provide information for artists interested in painting plein air (outdoors). You might look at us as an electronic billboard for plein air things happening in North Carolina.
Here are some answers to your questions. By Scott Boyle
1. How do I join?
A. To Join, go to our home page and click on Sign Up at the top right corner of the page. There may be a delay of a few days to activate your membership by the administrator to protect against spammers. Your birthday is required as it is a law that you must be at least 13 to join a social network, also your city and state is needed. It is not necessary to become a member, but joining allows you to communicate to other members, add images of your plein air art work, add an event, RSVP an event, and most importantly receive monthly emails from NCPAP.org on upcoming plein air events and other important topics to North Carolina plein air painters.
2. Now that I have joined, How do I use this site?
A. You can create a your own page, check out my page http://ncpap.org/profile/ScottBoyle and you can see how I have been using the network. One of the first steps to getting started is to upload an image of yourself. Just go to “My Page” link at the top of the page, then hover over the square icon, click Change Photo, there you can upload your image which will crop to a square format. If you don’t want us to know what you look like just upload your dog or favorite flower! You can change the look of your Personal Page by clicking on "Customize My Page" located on My Page at the top left below your name and city, state. This will only change your page and not the whole site. Go ahead and try something creative. The Sky is the limit!
3. What is required of me as a member?
A. Nothing, but remember you get what you put into this community, So those who put in the most will receive the most benefits.
4. If I want to attend an event eg. plein air paint out, how do I sign up?
A. Read the description of the event carefully. We have all types of painting events available, some are competitions, workshops, and others are open and informal. You can always RSVP electronically as a member, if you are signed in on the site, and we encourage you to do so. You do this by clicking onto the event and clicking the I will attend button. This generates excitement as artists see their friends are attending and will encourage others to participate.
5. What are groups and how do they work?
A. Painting outdoors is an awesome experience but to paint with others multiplies exponentially the enjoyment. Plein air groups come in all shapes and sizes, some are meet frequently and others on impulse. To join a group read carefully the description which should tell you how to participate. Some it is getting on an email list others my use a website, blog or Facebook to post upcoming paint outs. Clicking on the “Join Group” button on our site Does Not add you to the Group!! It only adds your image icon to the that group page. Again you must carefully read the description of the group which will tell you how to participate. Consider starting your own group, start a discussion on our Forum and get connected with some artists. I will tell you a little secret; there are a lot of artists out there painting together that are not on our group page and that connect with each other through our site.
6. About Posting Images
A. Please post your plein air images! Always try to post the best you have done to date. Please DO NOT post your studio paintings for we are trying to promote plein air painting or painting from life, Life studies done indoors are OK. Also photos you or your friends painting outdoors is encouraged. To Post you have to sign in, and go to my page and click Add Photos in your slide show, Mac users may have some problems as there is some flash components. You may only add 3 Photos per day. There is a new mobile app available for phones the Itunes store. just look up Ning App, this is the company who created this web platform.
7. About Posting Events
A. The number one rule is, only post PLEIN AIR EVENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA AND IT’S NEIGHBORING STATES – SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, AND VIRGINIA, plein air paint-outs, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits - (plein air only!!) No overseas workshops. Please abide by these rules. If you post something not plein air related, I will delete it. Any member can post an event, just go to the Events Tab and then click add Event at the top right, please add an image, small and square works best. And make sure you explain who and how artists can participate. This is a great function to get the word out. We now have 800+ Members!
8. Why should try to paint out doors?
A. Most all great painters of past and today have spent considerable time studying from life and for the landscape painter that means going outside. I personally find plein air painting exhilarating in many ways. It inspires me to a deeper level as an artist. it is forcing me to be technically more efficient as a painter. (faster with fewer brush strokes) It helps me to see and understand my own personal artist vision. It help me to understand the nature of light. And it helps me to appreciate weather conditions and mood of the scene which is more authentically translated to my canvas. Is it hard to paint outdoors? In the beginning, it is quite overwhelming but it gets a little bit easier with each attempt and the rewards are beyond measure!
9. What type of equipment should I bring to paint outdoors?
A. It can be as simple as a lawn chair, paper, pencil, sun hat and bug spray. As for outdoor easels here are some of the popular models: Soltek, Open Box M, Guerilla Painter, EasyL, and the Common French Sketch Box. The best way to learn about equipment is to come and see what other artists are using.
10. What if I have never painted outdoors or am a beginner?
A. We strongly encourage you to come anyway. Come, watch, and ask questions. Try sketching with charcoal or pencil. Enjoy the outdoors with other artists who struggle to create!
11. Why are these paint outs Free? What's the catch?
A. I personally have gained so much as an artist by painting plein air. It continues to be a growing passion and inspiration for me. My desire is to grow the plein air movement among artists in the state of North Carolina that they might discover what I have discovered about painting plein air. I want to expose artists to this experience. There is also the benefit of learning from one another and a great time to be had by all. This is a great opportunity for the beginner just to come check it out and experiment with no cost involved. And for the seasoned artist who is a tired of painting alone. I'm not trying to sell anything. I just want to share a blessing. Come out and catch the excitement!
12. Where does the money go that is donated?
A. The money that is donated to our organization goes only to pay for our Ning Website. The cost is $588 due every October A Donation of $10 is much appreciated. I will email everyone when our costs are covered for the year. Click on the "Donations" Tab at the top of the page to give via our Paypal account. The money given is not tax deductible. We are not technically a non-profit, though no one is getting rich as we are not selling your emails or running ads on the side bars.
13. Do horses drink mineral spirits?
A. Yes, if they're thirsty!
If you have more questions please, use the comment box below, so that I can address them on this page. Thanks, Scott Boyle